A POLICY PAPER ON INTERNATIONAL DIMENSIONS ON THE LASANOD CONFLICT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
The conflict in LasAnod between Somaliland and the Dhulbahante clan has been ongoing for the past six months in the Northern Sool region of Somalia. This conflict has turned LasAnod into a battleground where fierce clashes between Somaliland forces and the Dhulbahante clan have occurred. The escalation began on February 6th of this year when the traditional elders of the Dhulbahante clan, known as “Garaads,” released a communique after a month-long deliberation on the political future of the region.
In their statement, the Dhulbahante elders declared their loyalty to the federal government of Somalia, rejecting the separatist aspirations of the self-declared republic of Somaliland. They firmly demanded the withdrawal of Somaliland forces to Oog village, which is situated one hundred kilometers away from LasAnod and represents the border between the Dhulbahante and Isaaq clans. However, Somaliland has staunchly refused to comply with this demand.
The conflict has had devastating consequences for civilians, resulting in hundreds of casualties and thousands of injuries. Moreover, more than 150,000 people have been displaced from their homes, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.
Despite international calls for a ceasefire, de-escalation of violence, and peaceful resolution of tensions, both parties involved in the conflict have chosen to intensify their fighting. The international community has intervened, with Ethiopian delegates holding meetings with both sides, and traditional leaders endorsed by the Somali Federal Government attempting to pursue peace by visiting both LasAnod and Hargeisa. Unfortunately, these efforts have achieved limited progress, as the conflicting parties’ demands appear irreconcilable. This commentary emphasizes the role of the international community in exacerbating the conflict through their ambivalent and nonassertive policies. It suggests that the international community should shift from symbolic calls to assertive policies in order to put an end to the LasAnod conflict. By taking a more proactive stance, the international community can play a vital role in resolving the crisis and alleviating the severe humanitarian consequences it has caused.
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